MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami-Dade County Public Schools officials have announced that masks will be optional for students and faculty when they are outdoors for the remainder of the school year.

Effective Wednesday, students will no longer need to wear a mask during outdoor activities such as P.E. and recess.

“Students and employees can remove their masks as long as they’re outdoors and there’s appropriate social distancing,” said M-DCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

The new update came Tuesday afternoon following a meeting with school leaders and health experts.

“I certainly want to hear the experts’ opinion, the panelists,” Carvalho said.

With COVID cases going down and vaccinations on the rise, it led them to also make mask-wearing inside optional for the 2021-22 school year.

“It’s based on the trends we are observing in our community with lower positivity rates, with lower viral load, and with dramatically expanded vaccination of people from ages 12 and higher,” Carvalho said.

The Miami-Dade Teachers Union reacted to the new mask rules, telling 7News, “As we wrap up the school year and children are already in the habit of following safety protocols, regardless of their location or activity, wearing face masks continues to provide another layer of protection.”

As for what the parents think…

“If a parent wants their kids to wear masks, they should be able to do so. If they don’t, I don’t think that they should have to,” said one parent.

“We’ll just wait and see. It’s a little too early for me. It’s only been a little over a year,” said another parent.

Carvalho said they’re stressing the cleaning protocols and air filtration protocols remain and will not change despite the changes expected with masks.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said they are still working on adjusting mask guidelines for school and school children.

In terms of wearing masks for summer school, that decision will be made in the next few weeks.

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